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Theorizing sexual violence in global politics: improvising with feminist theory

Zalewski, Marysia 2022. Theorizing sexual violence in global politics: improvising with feminist theory. Review of International Studies 48 (1) , pp. 129-148. 10.1017/S0260210521000449

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Abstract

A key curiosity animating this article concerns how sexual violence is theorised. The work of feminist scholars has been crucial in unearthing ways in which women's traditionally demeaned bodies regularly materialised as ‘easy targets’ for such violence. The gift of the concept of gender has played a significant role in facilitating the production of this corpus of knowledge. Less noticed in the literature, in policy and legislation has been sexual violence against men – an egregious omission. Yet it seems that redeploying the concept of gender to make sense of sexual violence against men and elevate this violence into the realms of theoretical and legislative attention is not straightforward. Identifying feminist work as in part responsible for the rendering of sexual violence against men as too ‘unseen’ in theory provoked my attention, though it's not that I place feminist theory as ‘innocent’ or infallible – far from it. In this article I unpack some of the complexities around theorising sexual politics in Global Politics turning towards the aesthetics of feminist thinking to help reconsider the way connections take shape between gender, sex and violence. Underpinning this discussion are questions about feminist intentions to transform patriarchal and colonial structures and institutions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0260-2105
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 15 July 2021
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 20:45
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142661

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